Hey guys! Welcome back to Products Worth Talking About — the show about disruptive physical products and the people who built them.
In this episode, we dig into the crème de la crème, the bee’s knees, the ballers and shot callers of Shopify stores. We thought about going through 1,000 different Shopify stores, but we decided against it (for your sanity and ours).
Instead, we focused on our favorite three:
These are $100 million brands that have created a cult following, and today, we try to find out why. Is it the products, their marketing, their website conversion strategy, or something else entirely?
Let’s dig in and find out!
Founded by Tim Brown and Joey Zwillinger, All Birds is a fashion brand that specializes in crafting shoes and socks made from wool fabric. The result? Ridiculously comfy shoes and socks that are great for the environment and stylish at the same time.
When you hop on their website, the first thing you may notice is how clean and well-organized it is. Whatever you’re looking for, whether it’s men’s shoes, women’s shoes, or how All Birds is reversing climate change and listed as a B-Corp business, it’s all there on the front page for easy access. The website’s organization and simplicity were RT’s favorite takeaways from their online brand.
Tyler appreciated how their website keeps you engaged and interested throughout the entire user experience. Their website pages are highly informative and send you to several interesting videos of cute sheep that show you where they get the wool from, what different materials they use, how their products help the environment, etc. You’re not bored for a moment!
From a sales perspective, their website isn’t pushy at all, which is something we both appreciated. All Birds isn’t focusing on tricking you into buying anything. Once you make it to their website, you’re probably interested in buying something, so they give you the information you need to make an informed decision yourself. They even offer free shipping for all of their products, and the price for their shoes isn’t ridiculous. At an average of $95 a pair with free shipping, you’re golden.
What’s more, RT has had his pair of All Birds shoes for two years, and there’s no sign of wear and tear!
Moving on to social media, here’s an interesting fact! When we looked behind the scenes of their Facebook Ad campaign, All Birds have 330 current Facebook ads running! Leveraging Facebook Ads for your social media strategy is HUGE, and All Birds is hitting it out of the park!
Pro Tip: If you go to Facebook’s Ad Library, you can search a business and see how many ads they are currently running on Facebook. This is a great tool for inspiration for your own business and a way to check how your competitors are doing.
About 75% of their Facebook Ads are 10-second video ads, and we all know that videos are extremely effective on Facebook. Plus, promoting your business through Facebook video ads is a cost-effective way to engage with your audience. In addition, several of their videos feature cute footage of lambs, color-schemed product shoots, and pictures of people wearing their shoes, which we felt like was a good mix of different social media techniques.
Moving on from cute, fuzzy lambs, let’s talk about sharks — specifically, Gymshark.
Gymshark is a fitness apparel and accessories brand, manufacturer, and online retailer based in the U.K. Founded in 2012 by teenager Ben Francis and his high school friends, Gymshark evolved from a screen-printing company in a kid’s garage to one of the fastest-growing brands in the fitness industry.
Out of the three Shopify websites we examined, Tyler thought that Gymshark’s website was probably the weakest out of the three; however, that doesn’t mean they’re not successful. After all, a 19-year-old started this company in his garage and paved the way for Instagram influencers. They’ve got around 3.7 million followers on Instagram, so they can afford to skimp a little bit on their website.
All in all, their website is a professional photo library of models wearing their products, but RT pointed out that this may be a really genius strategy. It’s a subtle marketing technique that encourages the viewer to picture themselves wearing that fitness apparel, making them want to buy the product. They also offer tons of accessories, from backpacks to resistance bands, that they can use as upsells.
One thing that Tyler wasn’t a fan of was the color of their copy. It’s a light gray, small font, which makes it hard to read (at least on the desktop). But he was a big fan of their blog, and we agree that they should utilize pop-ups to help people engage with it on a deeper level.
Overall, we thought the website was solid, but compared to the others we viewed, it’s missing some important tactics such as product education and brand awareness.
Compared to All Birds’ 330 Facebook Ads, Gymshark only has 20 ads running at the moment. There’s not necessarily a direct advantage to running tons of different ads — the important thing is that you’re running some ads. We thought it was interesting that as a larger company, Gymshark seems to be less active on Facebook with only photo ads, but that may be because they’re so focused on Instagram.
This company was built on the shoulders of Instagram influencers and affiliates. On one of their Instagram posts, a huge guy in a cutoff shift is pictured doing bicep curls (his Instagram is tagged as well). In this example, Gymshark isn’t telling you to buy the shirt — it’s letting you convince yourself that you need that cutoff shirt because if you get it, you’ll get biceps like this dude. And this strategy is working. They’ve got a whopping 3.7 followers on Instagram with an engagement rate of 1.39% and on average 177,000 new followers a month.
However, we do think that they could be using video to their advantage. Having a testimonial video from one of their fitness models could do really well, as well as testimonials from their clientele.
In short, Gymshark knows its audience really well and uses Instagram as its central platform to engage with them.
Lastly, we have Vital Proteins — a supplement company specializing in collagen powder and beef gelatin founded by Kurt Seidensticker. In a word, Vital Proteins is RT’s “brand crush.” He remembers when they first came out, and he’s watched their disruptive journey into the health supplement industry with awe.
His favorite thing about their Shopify website is how they maximize sales conversions. Wherever you look, there’s an opportunity for you to save money on your purchase, whether it be to refer a friend for a discount (for them and you), subscribe and save, sign up for a newsletter for a $10 off coupon, etc. They also offer free shipping and AfterPay (if you want to pay in multiple installments).
When you hover over the “Shop” tab, there’s a pull-down menu that shows everything broken into distinct categories, including their bestsellers, which makes for a great user experience. And if you’re new to the supplement space, there’s a “Start Here” option, so you can educate yourself on what supplement works best for your needs.
Tyler was a big fan of the blog as well and how they repurpose their blog content on their social media platforms, maximizing the assets they already have available!
Overall, their website is incredible. RT had nothing bad to say about his brand crush, and Tyler didn’t risk posing a challenge.
Big surprise — RT is obsessed with Vital Proteins’ social media platforms as well. When they first started out, they just used a stark white and blue for their brand color scheme, but now they’ve evolved into vibrant colors, knowing that 90% of their customers are female.
In their Instagram feed, they feature pictures of influencers and their testimonials, great video ads, and color-schemed photo shoots of their products.
One of their posts features an influencer lounging in Target with a Vital Proteins product. She shares how much she loves the product and how it’s helped her, and at the same time, the post subtly lets the audience know they can buy their supplements at Target. It’s just genius.
All their posts are attention-grabbing, making you stop the mindless scrolling and hone in on what this disruptive brand is offering. We were both big fans and had nothing negative to say!
RT loved that they had so many Facebook Ads, and that’s something he feels like is missing with Vortic Watches. It’s genius to create different variations of ads to fit different customer personas, and honestly, it’s not that difficult. Once you have the initial ad, you can change the copy a bit, and you already have an ad variation.
Tyler loved that All Birds has honed in on their mission and product so well, creating several website pages dedicated to product education and the impact they are having on the world. He’s going to continue to do the same strategy with REBL Jane! In addition, he agreed with RT about the Facebook Ad strategy.
On Gymshark’s website, every single picture they have is of a person sporting their products. This is something that RT wants to do with Vortic Watch Company as well. Most of the photos on his website are watches against a white background, which looks very clean, but it may be missing a lifestyle aspect. What if he could include more images of people wearing his watches?
For Tyler, he appreciated how much Gymshark knows their audience. When you take a look at their social media and engagement rates, it’s obvious that they know what they’re doing.
RT loved everything about Vital Proteins, but one of his favorite things was how they made it so easy to purchase their products on one simple screen, giving price breaks, subscription rates, etc. RT is interested in trying the same strategy with Vortic Watches!
Along the same lines, Tyler was a huge fan of all their sales conversion tactics and how seamlessly these are integrated into the website. The pop-ups aren’t intrusive, in fact, they offer discounts and special offers for the viewer! Tyler wants to do the same thing with REBL Jane.
And there you have it folks — the best Shopify websites of 2019 and what we took away from them! To check out more disruptive Shopify sites, check out this article by The Hustle.
On Products Worth Talking About, our mission is to not only give you reliable information on disruptive businesses but also give you valuable insight into what makes great businesses successful! We hope you gained some insight from this episode, and that you’re motivated to take your Shopify website to the next level.
And if you don’t have a Shopify website and are interested in getting one, click here for a free trial on us!
We hope you enjoyed reading this post. If you learned something today, we would love to hear from you. Take a screenshot of the episode and share your greatest takeaways with us on Instagram, @productsworthtalkingabout. And if you love the show, make sure to subscribe on YouTube so that you can get new content delivered to you directly! Let us know what products and brands you want us to review!
Lastly, if you’re an aspiring entrepreneur who wants to build a product-based business, check out our business plan that literally writes itself! Within no time, you’ll be ready to pitch to investors and start the company of your dreams.
Thanks for reading! Until next time—
RT and Tyler